An investigation by the government of Tanzania has alleged that Bharti Airtel’s 60% ownership of the country’s second largest mobile operator by subscribers is illegal, writes Bloomberg. According to a statement from President John Magufuli’s office, which quotes Finance Minister Philip Mpango, the initial privatisation of Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) ‘broke the law, regulations and procedure’. The investigation concluded that the cellco was originally transferred from state-owned TTCL illegally and the government will start talks to retake what it says is its rightful share of the business.
Last month Bharti Airtel said its 2010 acquisition of the 60% stake in the company from Zain Group was in full compliance and followed all approvals from the government, which owns the remaining 40%. The Indian firm added that Tanzania’s complaint relates to the initial privatisation of the company five years prior to when Airtel took control.